James Thomas Farrell (February 27, 1904 – August 22, 1979) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and poet.
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I think it's helpful to remind white ethnics that they, too, came here in boats; that they, too, lived in slums; that they, too, had yellow fever; that they, too, were stigmatized as incorrigible; that they, too, had the highest homicide rates and the highest incarceration rates and the highest rates of mental illness; and that everything that was said about them in those days is now being said about Salvadorans, Dominicans, African Americans, Mexicans, Vietnamese, and Cambodians in our inner cities.
I still say black. I say it because . . . African American . . . doesn't make your life any easier. You don't see black people . . . saying, "Oh yeah, African American. Man, I'll tell ya, this beats the hell outta being black." . . . You don't see any of us going into Bank of America [saying], "Excuse me, I'm here to pick up my loan." . . . You were rejected for that loan last week." . . . "I was black then. See, I'm African American now. I'll just go in the vault and take what I need.